Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Fausted, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield.
Dr Sarah Chris’s brother takes her to see a production of Doctor Faustus because he thinks it will help her relax.
Instead, it just gives her ideas. A passionate environmental activist, she can see that carrying placards and chaining herself to pipelines isn’t working. The time has come for a Faustian bargain.
Twenty-one students from Fitchburg State University, Massachusetts, stage Samantha deManbey’s contemporary take on Faust with verve and humour. Aided by a sparkling Mephistopheles (Sarah Morin), Chris (Lisa Nguyen) embarks on an attempt to halt climate change via the UN, President Obama and Bill Gates. However, she quickly finds herself, despite her pure intentions, pushed into unwelcome compromises.
DeManbey’s script is full of ideas and marries well with Richard McElvain’s inventive staging, which has actors playing the parts of the furniture as well as the characters. But at its heart is a serious question – what actions are permissible, if one believes one is preventing a greater evil? – and an even more chilling revelation: that the powers of hell are no match for the dominance of multinational oil companies, or for mankind’s love affair with fossil fuels.
C Venues (Venue 34) until 15 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 12 August 2015
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